Does the action sequence in the movies leave you awe-struck? Then this blog is surely going to keep your eyeballs glued till the end. In order to protect himself from dangerous wildlife, individually and collectively, primitive man exploited his mind and explored the defensive skills. The secrets of survival of primitive man got refined and systemised over the centuries and came to be popularly known as martial arts today. Therefore we can strongly say that the history of martial art is as old as the civilization itself. With the development of time these self defense methods of the primitive man developed into a very famous martial art termed as’SQAY’. With the advent of civilization thousands of years ago, the unique martial art was passed down to the soldiers for protection from enemies. From the most primitive cultures to the most advanced civilisation SQAY has been a defensive martial art form in Kashmir. Though during the post-independence border conflict it saw a sharp decline, this art form is indigenous to the Paradise on Earth, Kashmir.
Sqay is a Persian word meaning ‘knowledge of war’. It is essentially a South Asian form of sword-fighting originating in the valley of Kashmir.Through this martial art form the Kashmiri people can connect and honour their ancestors. They aim to participate in competitions to mark their respect toward the heritage asset. Nazeer Ahmed Mir is the founder of the modern form of the very popular martial art introduced in Kashmir and a Sqay grandmaster himself. This ancient traditional martial art, Sqay has been allowed to be promoted on a national level and is now taught and practised in twenty Indian States. The Sqay Council is headquartered in the ‘saffron town of Kashmir’, Pampore.
Sqay make use of weapons such as swords and shields. ‘Tora’, the sqay sword is made of synthetic fibre with leather cover.
‘Burgula/Bargula’, the shield is made of leather. These are made as per the International Council of Sqay’s rules. Sqay adapts elements of Karate and Taekwondo. A wide range of practical fighting techniques such as blows, kicks, punches, locks and chops are used in Sqay.
This martial art form is fast catching up amongst the youth of the country with an increasing eagerness to participate. More youngsters from the valley are now signing up for the martial arts classes and a huge no of participants has been earning medals as well at various levels of the state.
Few young talents who shone for Kashmir: Musavir Rehman, a class 11th student of District Srinagar won a 3rd position in the SQAY Martial Arts in ASI Weight Category. 16-year old Srinagar girl, Ronak Manzoor has bagged silver medal for the State in the International Martial Art competition held at Chaing Mai Thailand. Earlier in February this year she had won Gold Medal in 58 kg Black Category at the Sqay Martial Art National Championship 2017 held at Kathmandu in Nepal. Recently a joint action was taken up by the Indian Army and Global Youth Foundation where a three day coaching cum adventure camp was organized with an aim to encourage the budding Sqay players and maintaining the old and rich tradition of the place. There is a dire need to preserve traditional cultures and indigenous practices.
Thanks to Nazeer Ahmed Mir, Indian Army and Global Youth Foundation whose joint actions saved the age-old traditional martial art Sqay from extinction. Otherwise these days only Bollywood gives recognition to world’s most amazing fighting styles that have originated from India, & these martial art forms reaches out to wider audiences.